Hippolyte J Blanc, begun 1898, completed 1906. Near symmetrical butterfly-plan, gabled former hospital administration block and adjoining wards in restrained Scots Renaissance style comprising 2-storey and attic 5-bay central block with radiating single-storey wings with terminating gabled villas in former colony hospital complex. Situated on sloping site, facing S. Roughly coursed and snecked light sandstone with contrasting red ashlar margins. Some windows to wings breaking wallhead with piended roofs, shouldered gables and round-headed dormerheads. Some nepus gables. Some later single-storey and stairwell additions to rear (N).
S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: symmetrical central block with slightly advanced central gabled bay and with further advanced outer bays with canted bay windows to ground with blocking courses. Base course, band courses, cornice. Central entrance doorway with moulded and corniced doorpiece; flanking small window openings. Bi-partite windows with stone mullions. Small flat-roofed roof dormers.
Single-storey wings to E and W with shouldered gables and some round-arched dormer heads. End pavilions, set at right angles with shouldered gables. Basement storeys to W and E.
N ELEVATION: asymmetrical with multiple roof heights and gables including 4-stage square-plan tower to centre.
Majority of windows boarded. Some 6- over 6-pane timber sash and case windows. Grey slates, terracotta ridge tiles. Corniced gable stacks. Raised skews.
INTERIOR: not seen (2011).
Statement of Special Interest
A Group with Bangour Village Hospital Former Memorial Church, Former Nurses' Home, Former Hospital Block with Wards 4, 5 & 6, Former Recreation Hall, Honeysuckle Cottage, Villas 7, 8, 9, & 10 and Villas 18, 19, 20 & 21 and Former Power Station Complex.
Bangour Village Hospital is the best surviving example in Scotland of a psychiatric hospital created in the village system of patient care, a revolutionary concept in the late 19th century. The administration and admission ward block of the former Bangour Village Hospital is one of the key buildings in the outstanding hospital complex and is situated in a prominent and central position within the site. The gabled, multi-height roofline of the building and unusual butterfly plan forms a well detailed and coherent structure as well as adding significantly to the overall village appearance of the site. The building has a number of decorative features, including the use of contrasting stone and a variety of dormer head styles.
The buildings of the hospital sit within their original rural setting and remain largely externally unaltered. This building was the administration and reception wards, where patients would been seen and assessed on their arrival. The administration block held offices, a board room, a dispensary and accommodation for 3 physicians.
Designed in a restrained Scots Renaissance style, Bangour Village Hospital is an outstanding remaining example of a psychiatric hospital built as a village and espousing a complete philosophy of care. The village system of patient care, exemplified by the Alt-Scherbitz hospital, near Leipzig in Germany in the 1870s encouraged psychiatric patients to be cared for within their own community setting, where there were few physical restrictions and where village self-sufficiency was encouraged. This was in contrast to the large contemporary asylum buildings. This philosophy had been gradually developing in a number of Scottish institutions, but Bangour saw its apotheosis, specifically in relation to psychiatric patients. Two other hospitals were built in Scotland for psychiatric patients, Kingseat, to the north of Aberdeen (built in 1904) and Dykebar Hospital in Paisley, 1909 (see separate listing). These have not survived as completely as Bangour.
The hospital was built by the well-known Edinburgh architect Hippolyte J Blanc as a result of a competition begun in 1898. The Edinburgh Lunacy Board had concluded that a new psychiatric hospital was required to cater for the increasing numbers of patients from Edinburgh and the hospital was opened in 1906, with some of the buildings still to be completed. It was designed with no external walls or gates. The utility buildings were positioned at the centre of the site, the medical buildings for patients requiring medical supervision and treatment were to the E and there were villas to the W of the site which could accommodate patients who required less supervision and were able to work at some sort of industry. The complex also included a farm to the NW (not part of current site) and had its own water and electricity systems and also had its own railway. The hospital was commissioned by the War Office in WWI for wounded soldiers and extra temporary structures were erected. Most of which were dismantled after the War although some timber ones were retained by the hospital. The railway too was dismantled in 1921. The patients returned in 1922. The hospital was commissioned again for WWII. At this time many temporary shelters were erected to the NW of the site and this became the basis of the Bangour General Hospital (now demolished). Bangour Village Hospital continued as a psychiatric hospital until 2004.
Hippolyte J Blanc (1844-1917) was an eminent and prolific Edinburgh-based architect who was perhaps best known for his Gothic revival churches. He was also a keen antiquarian and many of his buildings evoke an earlier Scottish style.
List description revised, 2012.
The Administration Building and Wards 1 & 2 was formerly listed at category A as part of a single listing covering Bangour Village Hospital. Category changed to B following listing review, 2012.
Photograph from West Lothian Archive, circa 1906 Ref D 14. Ordnance Survey Map, (1915). H J Blanc, 'Bangour Village Asylum' RIBA Journal, Vol XV, No10, 21 March 1908 pp308-326. J Keay, 'Bangour Village', Journal of Mental Science, April 1911, 57 pp408-411. J K and A M, 'Edinburgh War Hospital, Bangour', Edinburgh Medical Journal, March 1916 pp3-17. C McWilliam, Lothian, Buildings of Scotland, 1978 pf90. F Hendrie and D A D Macleod, The Bangour Story, 1991. Information from Dictionary of Scottish Architects www.scottisharchitects.org.uk (accessed 26-07-11).
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Printed: 13/08/2022 13:00